James Westfall Thompson was an American historian specializing in the history of medieval and early modern Europe, particularly of the Holy Roman Empire and France. Thompson's work on ancient libraries gives an in depth look in to how the Libraries of the ancient East, ancient Greece and ancient Rome were established and managed. It also contains technical information such as the format of books, library architecture, cataloguing and classification, administration, book production, and bookselling.
First published in 1931, this book covers the broad period of time between the Christian Roman Empire instituted in the fourth century and the period of the Renaissance. The author traces the main events of medieval history — striking a balance between political, institutional, social and cultural history — with no event of major importance escaping recognition. In addition to covering medieval Europe in detail, it also includes sections on the Byzantine Empire and the foundation of Islam. Many maps are also included to geographically illustrate key points. This book will be of interest to students of history.